Over the course of this remarkable saga you'll explore:
How the English East India Company, a commercial trading entity, established a presence in India and took the reins of power in one of the strangest political transformations in world history
How the monumental Mughal Empire, builders of the Taj Mahal and longstanding Muslim rulers in India, gradually came apart in the face of British conquest
How Britain extended its rule across the subcontinent, built a huge economic machine in India, and ultimately exacted a heavy price from the Indian people
How India finally achieved independence in 1947, through one of humanity's most noteworthy examples of resourceful and philosophically sophisticated leadership
You'll trace the economic motives that brought the British and other Westerners to India, like how the emergence of the English as a stereotypically tea-drinking society was directly related to the Indian colonial economy. You will also take stock of the incredibly lavish lifestyles of India's maharajahs and how the British leveraged alliances with them. And you'll grasp the fundamental moral contradiction of the Raj, the conflict between Britain's economic interests and the human needs of the empire's Indian subjects, and more. In A History of British India, you'll relive a crucial era in international relations, one with deep and lasting implications for our contemporary world.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By T. J. Jones on 14-08-18
interesting history, but Hayden be less smug
I have listened to all 12 hours of this audio book. It's an interesting period of history, and I imagine that Hayden B has covered all the major points - the East India company, the mutiny, the raj, Gandhi & the emergence of Congress, Jinnah, partition.
But his manner grates: history is a matter of facts, and it is possible for a history to sit there in judgement of those facts, knowing that they can sound wise after the event. Take partition - it's fine to say it had bad direct results. But what alternatives where there? Hayden himself admits that what Jinnah wanted and what Gandhi and Nehru wanted were not compatible. It's fine to say that neither side wanted partition, but the problem of Indian nationalism is that in giving power to the people, minority communities such as Muslims feared a tyranny of the majority. Gandi's movement opened a can of worms. There is no easy answer! So just tell us what happened.
More broadly, Hayden seems to think he can sneer at anything done by the British. But why? Was it a bad thing to build railways or to stop Sati? Of course not. Does he demonstrate that British India was clearly worse than Mughal India or post 1947 India? Not really. They are just different periods. For large sections of the course Hayden seems to be railing against modernisation and the Industrial Revolution. Though he does so exclusively from the point of view of an Indian nationalist, when in fact artisans in the UK also lost their jobs. Factory work isn't as much fun as making your own cloth, but that's the price of modernity. Hayden B doesn't need to give us his sneering opinion, just tell us what happened! We can make our own minds up.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Amazon Customer on 18-06-17
High school level
This is a fascinating period dominated by larger than life personalities, but this course doesn't do it justice and the prof functions at a high school level. He would do better to highlight specific personalities in each lesson and give more details. General statistics and overviews are important for context but the story needs to be fleshed out. Continual use of "remember', "think about it", rhetorical questions punctuated by a puerile "you got it" is annoying and patronizing. No profiles of individual maharajas, only a few eccentricities mentioned. Only major characters and incidents well known to anyone who knows even a little of Indian history are discussed. He gets animated with Gandhi and the National Congress. But this course either needs to be reworked for adults, both style and content, or recategorized as introductory. He hints numerous times that something is a subject for "another course". Oh my.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By PETER on 11-02-17
Good history - Annoying narration
Very interesting for a newbie to this important and interesting history of the region. I found the narrator a bit annoying, especially, about 100 times throughout the course his asking a question and then saying "you got it" like a half second after the question. About half way through I found myself shouting back at him #you got it" before he even said it, which most of the time he did. I'm surprised no one caught that, or that he wasn't annoyed at himself.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful